If there’s a better actor to play Red than David Harbour, I can’t think of him.
For the futuristic world of Wakanda and a deeper exploration of Shuri, it’s only appropriate that Marvel bring in Hugo Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor. Leonardo Romero brings a disciplined and authoritative style that brings life to the background hum of Wakandan life but keeps the characters front and center with excellent close work. Okorafor leans on Shuri’s wit and youth here; while she may have a direct line to Wakandan ancestors, she’s ever the little sister of T’Challa. With a convocation of “The Trunk”- a meeting of women- called to help determine Wakanda’s fate in the absence of T’Challa, the theme of youth and seasoned wisdom in conflux is a driving factor. Enter Shuri as the favored heir to the mantle of Black Panther in her brother’s absence. It’s a role she’s filled before, but never before with such a deeply explored and developed history, nor with the bandwidth generated from Shuri’s time on the big screen. Between the adventures of Shuri and T’Challa’s intergalactic quest to find home, fans have plenty of reasons to resound “Wakanda Forever” while they wait for Black Panther II to drop.
The story is a timely one, and while Magneto’s own story is culled from the pages of history, this particular tale is ripped from the front pages. It has a predictable arc and the moral of the story is one of acceptance, tolerance, and equality. The fact that this is the predominant quality in the X-Men canon doesn’t detract from the exploration of Magneto Claremont offers. Rather than a devious villain scheming to further an agenda, Magneto is portrayed as a simple but haunted man, pushed to great extremes by a dangerous and hateful world. Of special note is that Magneto goes in for non-lethal measures to secure his goals, while his human adversaries fantasize about much worse fates for mutant kind. This warmer treatment of the usually steely Magneto is surprising and touching, and well worth the read.
Gamma is equally tongue-in-cheek as it is compelling in its storytelling. It features narrative threads that start out confusing, and only get more twisted as the story starts skipping through time. Ulises Fariñas’ tale doesn’t suffer from this complex narrative, but rather it compels the reader to peel back the layers and give each panel that much more attention. Gamma is full of allusions and callbacks from the obvious Pokémon and Voltron references to the more obscure Watchmen, Mega-Man and Neon Genesis: Evangelion nods. The story is trippy, goofy, and nostalgic all at once.
After four separate investigations into Wolverine’s whereabouts that surprisingly fell short on excitement and any major revelations, fans were left with a series of Dead Ends. While Marvel may have been trying to elevate a bad pun with the four Hunt For Wolverine stories, what we’re left with is still a pretty bad pun. Thankfully, Charles Soule (Darth Vader) brings the loose threads together to make a really satisfying read, that, honestly, we could have arrived at sooner than sixteen issues. Regardless, Soule brings menace, whimsy and some old-school world-wide conspiracy arch-nemesis reveal with Soteira. Persephone, via holographic projection, threatens the future of the mutant race just so Iron Man, Daredevil, Kitty Pride and all other parties interested in Wolverine back off.
The Big News from the Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog Reunion Panel – SDCC 2018
Leinil Francis Yu’s depiction of Captain America is at times elegiac and could adorn any number of faded propaganda posters as Steve Rogers greets the grim reality of his country with a tight jaw and vibranium-grade resolve. Perhaps it is for the best that the primary antagonist of the series, at least at this early stage, hails from Russia. When faced with an external opposing force, it becomes easier to define one’s own position. Just as Black Panther’s A Nation Under Our Feet showed how tumultuous it can be for a nation’s identity to fall apart, Coates picks up Captain America’s narrative in the aftermath of the collapse, embracing all of the awkward navel-gazing that goes along with the stages of loss. The timing seems appropriate, and if any comic book hero could save a world seized by hopelessness, it’s the measured optimism and hope of Captain America.